Category Archives: Nature

Sights and smells of the great outdoors.

CMMC: July Pick a Topic – Flowers, Trees and Hats

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge – July Pick a Topic from [her] Photo prompted me to head to Zoo Montana / Yellowstone Arboretum with camera in hand. I knew I would find flower beds with trees in the background and hoped there might be a person or two wearing hats.

Volunteers – wearing hats! – with the Botanical Society of Zoo Montana were tending the Sensory Garden.

May there be sunshine and flowers to brighten your day!

CMMC: Milkweed Flowers

Just a few weeks ago these milkweed plants at Riverfront Park in Billings, Montana were inundated by the Yellowstone River.

Today the milkweed flowers are opening and I’m hoping some monarch butterflies will soon come through. Did you know milkweed leaves are the sole source of food for monarch butterfly larvae?

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the shapes and textures of the flowers.

Posted in response to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge July Close-up or Macro.

CMMC March Close-up: Branches in Early Spring

Hanging On to the Past. Big Creek State Park, Iowa. March 1, 2023.

A few close-ups for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge. Not a lot of color, but spring is on the way!

Hint of Spring. Big Creek State Park, Iowa. March 1, 2023.
Spring Is on the Way. Big Creek State Park. March 1, 2023.

CMMC February Close Up or Macro: Water Droplets

With the first Wednesday of February comes Cee’s Midweek Madness monthly challenge of Close Up or Macro. I took these photos along the Merkle Trail in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona, at the end of December 2021. It had just rained and I could not resist trying to capture drops of water digitally (I was going to say “on film” but I haven’t used film in years).

The only photo editing software I have what came with the laptop so it’s nothing fancy. I almost always crop a picture and will occasionally fiddle with the exposure. That’s what you see in these first pictures.

I do play with the ‘filter’ option just to see what happens, rarely keeping the result. But the color that popped in this last picture was so unexpected, I decided to share.

CMMC January Alphabet Letter V in Word: Leaves

Golden Colored Leaves. Big Creek State Park, Iowa. November 11, 2021.

Rather than searching long and hard, I decided to stick with a simple theme of leaves for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge of Words that Contain the Letter V. My tree pictures a week ago did not include any autumn splendor, so I am making up for it today.

Ginkgo Leaves. Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. November 5, 2021.
Maple and Other Leaves. Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. November 5, 2021.
Leaves against Sky. Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. November 5, 2021.
Oak Leaves. Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. November 5, 2021.

CMMC – January Pick a Topic: Trees and Sky

Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona. December 28, 2021.

This month’s Midweek Madness Challenge Pick-a-Topic from Cee’s photo sent me searching for pictures of trees against the sky. Here are five I have taken in the last fourteen months.

East Fork Boulder River Absaroka Range, Montana. May 12, 2021.
Shiloh Conservation Area, Billings, Montana. May 7, 2021.
Bald Cypress Trees, Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. April 13, 2021.
Yellowstone River, Billings, Montana. December 19, 2020.

CMMC January Color White

Daisy. Quincy, Illinois, U.S. October 2021.

The January color for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge color is white. Pictures of frost and snow would make sense and I have many to choose from. But if I wait to sort through them, I probably won’t get around to posting. So here are three other photos with objects that are white (or white’ish).

Aspen Trees. Near East Boulder River, Montana. May 2021.
Custer National Cemetery, Battle of the Little Bighorn National Monument, Montana. May 2021.